Check out our 2 new website pages

Rotary Youth Exchange logoThe observant folks among you may have noticed something different about our website’s page index at the top of the screen.

Take a look. See what we mean? Two new pages have been added to the lineup: Youth Exchange and ShelterBox.

As we resurrect our student exchange program, with Youth Exchange Officer A.J. Amato on the point, it seemed appropriate to post a selection of videos made by students themselves to describe their year living and studying abroad, the mixture of emotions they experienced, some tips for other students interested in such an experience, and more.

The new page also includes a Q&A covering the basics of the program. From time to time, we will post other videos as well as general information on Rotary Youth Exchange on that page.

ShelterBox logoThe other new page celebrates our ongoing support of the ShelterBox global disaster relief program, to which we recently donated another $5,000. It explains what is in a ShelterBox, how the boxes are delivered, how you can continue to assist, and other information.

Incidentally, if you’re planning to visit a local nursery to get your spring plants or seeds, you may want to stop in at Faddegon’s Nursery, 1140 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham. There, owners Jack and Nancy Faddegon, who have coordinated District 7190’s ShelterBox efforts for the past decade, have created a ShelterBox display to help inform their customers about this ongoing humanitarian project.


SRC’s 1000th post also its first ‘You Tube’ video

 You can see an array of still photos from our November 5 “no-sew” blanket workshop in the post below, but we thought you might like to see a little activity as well.

Feel free to share this video with any of your e-mail or Facebook friends. We’ve posted other videos here over the years, but this is our first homemade one.

Incidentally, this also is the 1,000th post on this website. Hurray for us!

Chile latest country needing ShelterBox disaster aid

A ShelterBox response team this week arrived in Chile, where the people are facing the aftermath of two separate natural disasters that have left entire  communities without homes and shelter from some of the most unpredictable displays of nature the South American nation has ever seen.

In the Atacama region, a usually arid area, intense rainfall has led to rivers bursting their banks, flash flooding and landslides. The floods not only damaged infrastructure, they have left more than 8,000 families with either damaged or destroyed homes.

More than a thousand miles away, in the state of Los Lagos, activity from the Calbuco volcano has resulted in the evacuation of 6,600 homes. The volcano erupted for the first time in 42 years, dispersing a 10-mile high plume of ash into the air, along with other pyroclastic materials.

A 12-mile evacuation zone has been enforced around the Calbuco volcano because of concerns that it not only could cause a great deal of destruction, but could collapse itself, which would cause a massive pyroclastic flow, which is a current of hot gas and rock that can travel downhill at speeds of 450 miles per hour, destroying everything in its path.

Ayeaisa McIntyre, ShelterBox operations coordinator, explained how extraordinary these events are:

“The response in Chile is quite unusual given that we are responding to two separate disasters at the same time. Not only is this unusual for ShelterBox, but the events themselves are historically unlikely.

“The Atacama region, which is one of the driest places on earth, received the equivalent of seven years of rainfall in less than 24 hours. In Los Lagos, the area surrounding the Calbuco volcano, was evacuated prior to the first eruption in four decades. After the eruption on April 22, people started returning to their ash-covered homes only to experience two further eruptions.”

The ShelterBox team, made up of John Cordell and Kevin Monforte of the United States and Scott Culbertson of Canada, is working with Habitat for Humanity and the Chilean Red Cross Society to provide shelter kits to 1,500 families whose homes have been destroyed or damaged by these events.